To Shoot or Not, the Debate Continues Over Grilled Figs & Ice Cream

Are you a foodie?

Or, more interestingly are you one of those trigger happy foodies?

The one, who painstakingly take photos of every plate of food that is placed before you in every restuarant? Every mug of coffee? Glass of wine? And then the photo goes out into the world of social media gathering likes, initiating conversations and firmly establishing your foodie credentials?

I do want to be like you. I religiously take photos of mugs of tea and slices of cakes and even make my husband do it. But when it comes to dimly lit restaurants, I or rather my camera is defeated. The photos come out all horrible and blurred. Unfortunately in my experience most high end restaurants have low lighting, so I can't post photos of the exciting food I eat there. Frustrations of a wannabe restaurant critic. *Sigh*.

Then I heard Michelin star Chef Marcus Wareing talk about how shoddy restaurant food photos by bloggers make chefs unhappy. This candid opinion made me sit up. Hold on, I never have thought about it from the restaurant's or the chef's point of view. Yes I do know about the debate whether you can take photos in a restaurant, the etiquette of it et al. But listening to Marcus I could relate to his frustration. When I was in academics, my field of study was international politics. What angered & often frustrated me, was when people with no in-depth knowledge of politics or society talked politics with so much misplaced conviction. I guess that is what has happened with food bloggers too. We have swamped the foodie spaces and suddenly the professionals find themselves cornered. Of course you could point out that the super egos of master chefs could come down a notch or two. But then that is something the chefs need to work on, from a food bloggers perspective, I need to improve my photographic skills to the extent that even a hastily shot photograph comes out looking great.

That same evening, which was  Great British Chef & GoogleLocalLondon organised food photography workshop during the London Social Media Week, Photographer David Griffin took us through the basics of food photography. David was very lucid and encouraging, not at all intimidating. Listening to him, I started believing that even I can take great photos. Of course the confidence quickly evaporated once I faced my camera with a rapidly melting bowl of ice cream.

Enough of photography talk. Shall we move onto the food bit now? Today I have a treat up my sleeves for you. An easy, fruity dessert, made with the least bit of fuss. Something you can make up at the very last moment, if you suddenly realise that you have forgotten to make pudding for your guests or you need a little pick-me-up during the weekdays.

It's grilled figs served warm over vanilla ice cream and crushed peanut brittle.

Recently I have been seeing a lot of figs in the markets. Now figs are not something I have grown up with. In India we used to get small, green figs, which mostly grew in the wild. Sometimes people made curries with potatoes and figs. Not being fond of vegetables, I steered clear of this. But this fruit looked interesting enough for me to investigate. To my surprise I was told it is fig and popular in the Mediterranean region. Of course I had to try it out. Then in the Innocent Inspires event last August food designer Emilie Baltz took us on a sensory journey by making us bite into figs with our ear plugs on. From then on figs firmly piqued my interest. Now with figs in season I decided to make something with them.

A little googling and I realised that figs grill very well. I grilled the figs and served them with ice cream and peanut brittle that was given to us in the food photography workshop. 


1. 6 ripe figs-- fresh and seasonal
2. 1 table spoon of butter
3. 2 table spoons of brown sugar
4. Juice of half an orange
5. Zest of half an orange
6. Pinch of cinnamon
7. One table spoon of honey


1. Preheat the over to 180 degrees.
2. In a microwave proof bowl melt the butter for 10 seconds or so, let it cool down.
3. In the same bowl, once it has cooled down, add the juice of half an orange.
4. The sugar, cinnamon, honey and orange zest. Mix well.
5. Wash and cut the figs.
6. Arrange the figs on a baking dish, pour the mixture on each fig.
7. Bake for 20 mins or so, keep an eye, some figs will grill quicker than the others, depending on how ripe they are.
8. Serve with some vanilla ice cream. I sprinkled some crushed peanut brittle for some extra crunch.


  1. I do take pictures in restaurant but not all of them - it depends on the atmosphere in a particular place, sometimes I just feel that they wouldn't like it...
    good dessert-easy and tasty!

  2. I feel very uncomfortable taking pictures in restaurants however, I never really considered the process from a chef's point of view. Good point, Suchi.

    I grew up eating lots of figs, my father had a fig tree he treated like his baby:) (almost as much as his grape vines:) I haven't made figs in ages. Yours look so luscious Suchi. I really need to try them grilled. simply gorgeous!

    Thank you so much for sharing...

    P.S. Do you need the info for the Pasta Party?

  3. My photos in restaurants really stink, so I rarely pull out my phone unless the light is excellent. My family is embarrassed when I do it, so I try to be very discreet. Your grilled figs look marvelous...what a perfect ice cream topping!

  4. Suchi , to tell you the truth , I seldom bring my camera when I'm going out , too bulky , okay and I'm too lazy to take photo of anything and everything :P Re figs , I have yet to try it , seriously ! I've seen some figs at the market last time but I'm too cheap to buy it ugh ! Looking at your grilled figs makes my mouth water , yeah , I'll buy one next time lol

  5. I would love to try this, looks very interesting, and I don't even try taking pictures because of the lighting in restaurants..

  6. You do take gorgeous pictures. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Look at those gorgeous figs. Yum!

  7. great recipe and post mostly i think tweets of food help the chefs restaurants business

  8. They look so good. Love your photos!

  9. Such beautiful photos of the figs. Surprisingly, I prefer to eat and not take photos when I go to a restaurant

    1. Me too, I almost always jump on the food to devour it and later when the plate has been licked clean realise that I should have taken some photos!

  10. It all depends where you are taking the photo -- an advance research is always handy. Some restaurants won't even allow the use of phone.

    I could devour grilled figs in one seating. So good :D

    1. True Kiran, there is such a huge debate going on about this :-)


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